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Variances On High Street Okay

Posted on 17 July 2008

Despite two meetings which debated the size of a proposed addition to Alexandra Leigh-Hunt’s High Street home, in a straw vote this Tuesday, the Sag Harbor Zoning Board of Appeals unanimously approved three variances to allow for the construction. The board will formally adopt the approval at next month’s meeting.

Leigh-Hunt sought area variances to construct an addition to an existing bathroom as well as a partial second story addition to the 34 High Street home. At prior meetings, former neighbors argued the expansion was nearly identical to one Leigh-Hunt successfully fought when a neighbor sought to add to his residence.

Board member Gayle Pickering also wondered if the project was too large for the neighborhood. Last month she asked attorney Dennis Downes, representing Leigh-Hunt, if the application could be adjourned a month so she could inspect the site herself.

On Tuesday, Pickering said she had in fact visited the site and while she felt it still may be a little too tight for expansion, she had spoken to current neighbors who supported the project.

The proposed condo project at 1, 3 and 5 Ferry Road was before the board, although not for variances but as a lead agency request from the Sag Harbor Planning Board.

The proposed project, for 18 units with 18 accessory dock slips, at the former Diner property, must undergo a State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR). A lead agency — one of the many regulatory agencies involved in the lengthy process — must conduct SEQR, which focuses on possible impacts any project may have on a community. The planning board has requested it serve as lead agency and on Tuesday the zoning board of appeals was more than happy to allow them to carry the burden.

“I say let them have it,” said board member Kathy Radziewicz.

Two other applications were tabled until next month’s August 19 meeting. Hazel Hammond’s request for an area variance to relocate and reconstruct an existing shed was tabled as there was no one representing the applicant at the meeting. Ira and Perri Gurfein’s application for a variance for off-street parking in order to legalize an already expanded day spa, known as the Style Bar, on Bay Street was also tabled at the request of the applicant. 

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